Updated: Jun 17, 2022
Nasir Shaikh brings experience, compassion and leadership together, to create a better learning and growing experience, for himself and others. Before taking on as the Group CEO, of The Lexicon Group of Institutes, Educrack and MultiFit, Mr Shaikh was a name to reckon with in the hospitality industry where he received many accolades and recognitions. Stay featured in conversation with Mr Nasir Shaikh a Hotelier turns Educationist.
Q. How did this idea of EdTech startup EduCrack come into your mind?
Ans. The idea for the EdTech startup EduCrack came from our team. As a company, we at The Lexicon Group of Institutes have always encouraged our teams to grow, innovate and embrace their entrepreneurial spirit. During one of our regular brainstorming sessions, a few of our team members passionately put forth the idea of creating a technology-based learning platform that helps aspiring professionals and students, successfully crack competitive exams provided at an affordable price point.
After further brainstorming, EduCrack was established with a clear vision of providing Quality Education at an affordable price while ensuring enhanced approach and engagement to empower learners to "Crack it Now!". Educrack, I believe, truly stems from our motto, "Believe in Yourself".
Q. According to you, Technology or Education, what comes first?
Ans. There is no denying that a robust infrastructure is necessary to ensure that children are provided with a variety and the best resources to assist their learning journey. But at the same time, a holistic approach to education is also essential. Gone are the days when the chalk and talk method sufficed, and it was a free size.
Today, the concept of inclusive education demands that every child receive access to the same quality of education irrespective of their gender, status and grasping capabilities etc. Evaluation has become more than a tool to verify recollection. It is also a tool to understand the comprehension and grasp of the students about a topic. To fulfil the current requirements in education, I believe that a combination of technology and pedagogy is necessary. Pedagogy provides the methodology to achieve holistic education, and technology offers the tools for effective delivery and resources.
Q. Are we losing/vanishing the traditional way of teaching?
Ans. My answer to this is that we are enhancing the traditional way of teaching to be more inclusive, to encompass and support the holistic learning and development of children. This enhancement comes from using digital resources to create an engaging and up-to-date curriculum that ensures the retention of facts and knowledge in students while also highlighting the application of the students' learnings in real life. Teachers - a crucial part of the traditional way of teaching still of great significance as it is the teacher that helps spark curiosity in a child, realizes the difficulties and motivates and assists the child to realize their potential. So, a teacher will always be an integral part of providing a tailored and wholesome learning experience to students, irrespective of technological advances.
Additionally, teachers and experts from across the globe have become accessible and available virtually to add value to the students and their learning journey.
Q. How do you see the global battle of B2B and B2C in the EdTech Industry?
Ans. The EdTech industry that served as an addendum to regular education has become a part of mainstream education. There are various reasons for this, and one of them is the increased demand among professionals who wish to upskill to promote their personal growth. Also, growing competition among students, with the addition of a skill set and higher education taking priority over simply acquiring jobs, is a vital motivator for students seeking EdTech resources to supplement traditional learning.
The EdTech industry offers software solutions as a tool to enhance the learning experience of students and professionals alike. The solutions provided to businesses and customers are distinct in their objectives. B2B segment caters to requirements that focus on building upon enhancing the existing curriculum concerning real-life applications and work to enhance the students learning experience. Whereas the B2C is focused more on creating an engaging and supportive experience directly for the students or learners with a pre-set guideline or curriculum.
The B2B segment of EdTech caters to educational institutions like schools, universities, coaching centres and businesses looking to upskill their employees. The aim is to present a greater scope for customization and execution on-site, with continued support offered post-deployment, leading to an upsurge in partnerships among EdTech firms, educational institutions, businesses, and content developers. These collaborations have led to the creation of substantial opportunities in the educational technology sector. With partnerships becoming critical in the EdTech sector, the business (B2B) segment dominated the EdTech market in 2021, accounting for over 69.08% share of the global revenue, stated a report published by Grand view research.
The B2C segment of the EdTech industry caters to individuals who drive their learning or utilize the service as a supplement to traditional academics. The B2C segment, though flourishing, finds itself lacking in market share due to high marketing investments and efforts required for the promotion and visibility of the service.
Q. How is the EdTech market trend growing globally in India?
Ans. Boasting a growing and flourishing industry, according to a report released by RBSA Advisors, the EdTech industry in India is set to grow to $30 Billion in the next 10years. EdTech has vast potential with applications in virtually every field and industry. One of the factors that drive the growth of the industry is the mindset of young professionals and students who wish to continue their learning journey. The generation that forms the young and dynamic workforce of the near future emphasizes personal growth and development, upskilling and moving up the professional ladder supported by academic and experiential learning, creating endless opportunities for education supported by technology to thrive.
The advances in technology like the introduction of blockchain, artificial intelligence and its numerous applications also fuel the growth of the Ed-Tech industry. It offers teachers, educational institutes and learners various choices to select the best fit for them. Strategies like gamification, and Transmedia Edutainment in institutes, on online or tech-based learning platforms, have created a huge demand of engaging and motivational modules and courses, especially for students which will also propel research and development in the field of EdTech. Among others, the COVID-19 pandemic also played a crucial role in the momentum generated for the EdTech industry, with platforms like Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams etc., serving as key contributors to maintaining the smooth functioning of the education system.
Q. How EduCrack will make its space in the market with all competitors and emerging EdTech startups?
EduCrack has unique offerings that present students with a 'Complete Learning Ecosystem'. With EduCrack, we have embedded the resources required for learners to embark on and complete their virtual educational journey.
During the first quarter of their learning journey, learners enrolled with EduCrack will have the opportunity for a physical interaction in Pune, which has been integrated into their curriculum. With this physical interaction, we endeavour to allow the students to meet with the Team of EduCrack and their peers to encourage collaboration and inspire an exchange of learnings. Also, a part of the services provided to enhance the students learning experience is the feature 'EduMeet', which will enable students to connect virtually and also extend this virtual meeting to in-person meeting through the exchange of ideas and notes.
Unlike other EdTech platforms, the driving factor behind EduCrack has and never will be 'Valuation'. Instead, we focus on delivering value through education. At EduCrack, we strive to reach every corner of the world, urban and rural and provide aspiring, ambitious students, professionals, or individuals the opportunity to explore the various choices, benefit from them and achieve their professional and personal goals. According to me, this is the biggest differentiator between EduCrack and other EdTech platforms.
Q. Explain- EdTech is the future of kids?
Ans. Technological advances in education have led to the rapid globalization of the education industry, increasing the potential for schools or universities and other educational institutes to reach students and vice versa. The potential that EdTech brings has been noticed even by the most sought-after institutes across the globe who wish to capture this market by providing online certification options in various disciplines like Ivy League schools from abroad, IIMs in India etc. “The global education technology market size was valued at USD 106.46 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2022 to 2030.”, according to a report published on the Grand View Research. I think EdTech companies in India will build on the positive experience of children and teachers with online learning platforms or tech-based learning experiences that highlight the advantages of technology-enabled learning and the benefits that technology could offer in enhancing the current curriculum.
In light of the National Education Policy, rolled out in India, which envisions a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and holistic approach to undergraduate education, I believe that the EdTech industry has bright prospects. It can and will cater to learners, meeting and delivering the requirements of undergrad education with an enhanced and tailored curriculum, unique topic blends, vocational integration, offering different admission and exit points with appropriate certification in future.
The growing demand for advances in education technology due to its benefits in promoting education for all, assistance in upskilling, and improving the employability of individuals will further strengthen the future of the EdTech industry globally.
Q. our readers are excited to hear Future plans of Educrack.
Ans. With EduCrack, we aspire to be the catalysts for the youth of India to grow and, thereby, be of service to the nation by helping India grow. In India's growth and the growth of the youth is EduCrack's growth. With regards to the platform and the core structure, we will be enhancing and multiplying our offerings to include numerous courses and opportunities for the students. We will be assisting students with their preparation for competitive exams in the domestic and the international sphere. We strive to create a bouquet covering all educational aspects for our learners and empower them to achieve their learning and professional goals.
By mid-2023, we aim to have at least 30 thousand learners complete their educational journey at and through EduCrack.
About Mr Nasir Shaikh
A prominent leader with a career spanning over two decades in the capacity of a leader, Mr Nasir Shaikh is an eminent hospitality trailblazer, now a leader in Education and Fitness as the Group CEO - The Lexicon Group of Institutes, MultiFit, and EduCrack. Mr Shaikh's efforts are guided by the principle of The Lexicon Group of Institutes - 'BeliefMr in Yourself'. Mr. Shaikh employs the perfect balance of experience, leadership and innovative spirit to encourage and inspire young future leaders, fostering a stimulating environment for holistic education and wellbeing, and addressing the leadership challenges of an evolving world.
Mr Shaikh was recently recognized by India Today for his ingenuity and leadership skills as one of the Top 10 Inspiring Young Business Leaders from India who are ready to create history. This is in addition to the numerous accolades he received during his time in the hospitality industry like the Debbie Marriott Harrison Take Care Award of Excellence 2017, BW Hotelier- General Manager (2017) and Best Business Council of the World – Marriott International, 2019.
Supported by the crucial skills of mediation and problem solving, his attitude of turning Adversity into Opportunity came through powerfully during the pandemic, as his team continued to consciously support the students and various stakeholders while delivering quality education. Mr Shaikh's efforts are reflected in the recognition received by The Lexicon Schools and Lexicon Management Institute of Leadership and Excellence in their respective domains.